Inside the crown jewellery box: Look back at Queen Elizabeth II’s dazzling gems as they pass to the next generation of royals

Her Majesty had arguably the best jewellery collection in the world.
Loading the player...

Queen Elizabeth II has died peacefully at Balmoral aged 96, giving rise to speculation about who she has left her stunning and extensive jewellery collection to.

During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II’s jewellery included some of the world’s most exquisite gems, including her coronation necklace and the imperial state crown.

Leslie Field, author of Queen’s Jewels: The Personal Collection of Elizabeth II, has studied over 1000 pieces owned by the British monarch. That’s one huge jewellery box!

Of course, Her Majesty was known to share her beautiful collection. Her exquisite pieces have been worn by Princess Diana and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Now royal fans are waiting to hear who the late queen has left her most precious pieces to as the royal family mourns her death.

In the meantime, we’re reminiscing on some of her most beautiful and iconic pieces.

From diamond-encrusted tiaras, sapphire adorned necklaces and stunning trinkets that hold sentimental value – take a look bacl at Queen Elizabeth II’s jewellery.

(Image: Getty)

The Queen

For her 2021 Christmas broadcast, the Queen styled her pearl earrings with a three-strand necklace, and her sapphire chrysanthemum brooch was a sentimental touch as she wore it in honour of her late husband, Prince Philip. The piece was part of her collection since 1946, and it’s sweetly named the British Princess.

(Image: Getty)

The Queen

Unfortunately, The Queen couldn’t physically attend the COP 26 summit in 2021 because of bad health. But she appeared via a pre-recorded video wearing a butterfly brooch, which shares a connection to Prince Philip. The gorgeous piece was a gift from the Dowager Countess of Onslow for her wedding to Prince Philip.


The Queen

The British matriarch wore this brooch to pay subtle tribute to her late husband, Prince Phillip, who gifted her the piece on their engagement in 1966. The brooch has been dubbed “scarab.”


Queen liz

The monarch paid tribute to her late mother by wearing her art deco brooch. The Queen wore the dazzling aquamarine piece to attend a military parade, which marked her 95th birthday.


Queen brooch

A true brooch lover, Queen Elizabeth wore this Botswana Milet Brooch at the 2021 G7 Summit. The piece features yellow gold and 11 pear-shaped diamonds, and it’s been speculated that she wore the brooch as an ode to Meghan and Harry, who have ties to the country of Botswana.

For a woman who had over 1000 jewels, one of her most treasured was her engagement ring! While it was small compared to her collection, the ring had an impressive three-carat diamond solitaire. Prince Philip may have considered humour as the secret to a good marriage, but the Duke knew how to woo. The diamonds in the ring were taken from a tiara owned by his mother, Princess Alice.

“Happy Canada Day! This portrait of The Queen was released in July 2017 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. The Queen, as the constitutional Canadian Monarch and Head of State, has a long and close relationship with Canada and has visited 24 times during her reign,” the royal family shared.

The sparkling piece of jewellery was a present to the Queen Mother from her husband, King George VI. He gifted his wife the brooch to mark their state visit to Canada in 1939 (pictured on the left). Passing it to her daughter, a then-Princess Elizabeth wore the brooch for the very first time in 1951 and again in 1978 (pictured on the right).

Catherine was loaned the stunning jewel from her Grandmother-in-law, the Queen, for her first trip to Canada back in 2011.

Here she is wearing the Cambridge Lover’s Knot. It was considered to be a favourite of Princess Diana. Queen Mary commissioned the precious item in 1913. It’s believed to have been designed off of a tiara owned by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, the-then Duchess of Cambridge.

Donning close to 3000 diamonds, the Queen was a glittering vision at UK State Opening of Parliament. Dressed in white, the then 90-year-old wore her Imperial State Crown.

The Imperial State Crown was originally made in the 15th century, however the crown worn by Britain’s longest-reigning monarch is actually a remake because the gems were too heavy! She first wore the stunning item in 1937 and has since worn it at each State Opening of Parliament.

Stunning from every angle, the palace describes the timeless piece as, “Set with over 3,000 gems, the stones were all transferred from the old Imperial Crown, which had been re-made on a number of occasions since the 17th century, most recently for Queen Victoria in 1838. It include many famous gemstones, including the diamond known as the Second Star of Africa (the second largest stone cut from the celebrated Cullinan Diamond), the Black Prince’s Ruby, the Stuart Sapphire, St Edward’s Sapphire and Queen Elizabeth’s Pearls.”

Of course when she wasn’t wearing her crown, the Queen had her George IV State Diadem ready to go! Isn’t it resplendent?

One of the most prolific jewelled crowns, it was created in 1820 for the coronation of King George IV. You could usually see it at the State Opening of Parliament before the Queen’s death, as she wore it in the procession to the event every year. And of course Her Majesty knew exactly what to pair the crowning jewels with…

Wearing 26 diamonds around your neck, now that’s regal! The Coronation Necklace has a chain of 25 diamonds with the last – a 22.48-carat stone known as the Lahore Diamond – hanging from the end. It has been worn at the coronation of every Queen since Queen Alexandra in 1902.

Queen Elizabeth’s most prized items was her Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara. She was gifted the necklace and earrings by the president and the people of Brazil in celebration of her coronation, over 62 years ago. In 1957, she received the matching tiara and throughout her reign Elizabeth added more aquamarines and diamonds to the exquisite piece.

Of course the Queen has a favourite piece, the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara. As the name suggests, it was purchased by a committee of girls from Great Britain and Ireland in 1893 for a then future-Queen Mary. The illustrious jewelled crown was handed down as wedding gift to Queen Elizabeth from her mother. Interestingly, the crown used to have pearls, but they were added to another tiara.

Loading the player…

The Royal Jewels: Times the British Royals Shared Their Precious Jewellery

The British monarch still adores wearing something from her 1947 wedding day, the diamond fringe tiara. It is incredibly delicate and fragile. Many might not know that on the her big day, the tiara broke before the ceremony, only to be repaired in the nick of time.

Benjamin Wheeler/PA

Princess Beatrice

Princess Beatrice wore her grandmother’s wedding tiara for her big day, and she also borrowed one of the Queen’s dresses for the occasion.

Duchess Catherine famously borrowed this Cartier Halo tiara for her 2011 wedding. The tiara was gifted to then-Princess Elizabeth on her 18th birthday by her mother. Apparently she wasn’t terribly fond of it and often gave it to her sister, Princess Margaret. (Pictured right in 1955).

Loading the player…

Queen Elizabeth becomes the longest reigning soverign

Related stories